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Last week we told you about the first star-studded wedding at the new Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve, but today we’re focusing on the hotel’s own celebrity. That would be Spanish chef extraordinaire and ThinkFoodGroup owner José Andrés who opened the restaurant Mi Casa at the luxury resort.
Normally you’ll find José’s restaurants on the U.S. mainland at the SLS hotels in Miami and Beverly Hills, as well as other restaurants in Washington D.C., Las Vegas and other cities. However, having eaten at a few of those places, we found familiar items from those far-away restaurants right on hand at Mi Casa, so we’d like to think that they are the chef's favorites, or perhaps they’re a starter menu and he’ll be creating items to put the Ritz-Carlton stamp on Mi Casa.
Our photo gallery highlights the fun design and food surprises we found at the restaurant.
Hotel Openings / Ritz-Carlton Hotels / Caribbean Hotels / Puerto Rico Hotels / Ritz-Carlton Reserves / Jose Andres / → All Tags
We recently mentioned the upcoming Ritz-Carlton Aruba opening in 2014, and threw in a poke at our doubts regarding the chain’s habits of tempting us with Caribbean resorts, given its years-long teasing with a Puerto Rico and Turks and Caicos property. Well lo’! We’ve been struck dumb again with exclusive news from RC HQ that the new Dorado Beach, a Ritz-Carlton Reserve in Puerto Rico will indeed open this December! Que bueno!
SLS Hotels / Miami Hotel Mambo / Hotel Openings / Hotel News / Philippe Starck / Jose Andres / Sam Nazarian / → All Tags
And like most things, in South Beach, it will be oozing sex appeal. But only up in the guestrooms. The rest of the joint is taking an eclectic design approach.
USA Today has some scoop on the interior design details of the hotel including a retro American camp theme at reception:
The reception desk is made from a distressed slab of wood; the lighting, from an antique wood kayak hanging from the ceiling. Vintage shots of camping trips reinforce the camp theme.
Down at Bazaar, the restaurant from Chef Jose Andres (which is also found in the first SLS Hotel in Los Angeles), Philippe Starck designed a room that is to be covered in grandma-approved art in only one color, acid yellow.
Expect love-it-or-hate-it acid yellow touches throughout the room - in photographs, on book shelves and in paintings.
Hotel Openings / Hotel News / SLS Hotels / Jose Andres / Lenny Kravitz / Philippe Starck / SBE / Sam Nazarian / Katsuya / → All Tags
It's finally official--the long awaited SLS South Beach will open in April 2012! This will mark the second SLS Hotel to open after the flagship one in Los Angeles and hotelier Sam Nazarian is pulling out all the stops, combining pretty much all of his restaurant and nightclub hotspots under one roof.
First off, the hotel will feature room designs from SLS hotel designer Philippe Starck. While we only have that above rendering to go on, the rooms still retain the airy and effervescent quality of the SLS in LA but this looks a little, how do we say this?--cozier?
There are no "floating" glass beds and cramped low ceilings, although there will be oversized chaise lounges and the beds do look as if they are levitating ever so slightly. Starck is also doing something a little unusual behind the bed with curtains that feature a painted-on bedroom scheme. Same goes for the "armoire" that "holds" the TV opposite the bed (we saw this in another smaller rendering.) Oh and don't forget to look up, because there's a mirror on the ceiling!
One of the things we were always torn about with the SLS Hotel in Los Angeles is that only guests were allowed inside the lobby area. All other visitors were directed through to a separate entrance--where the award-winning Bazaar Restaurant from José Andrés is located.
While we liked that the SLS offered guests privacy in the lobby area, we were also a bit hurt because the lobby is not just a check-in spot with a couple of couches and tables but a place where guests could dine and drink amongst the interior design of Philippe Starck. It looks and feels unlike most hotel lobbies, more like a swank private club than a hotel lobby.
So we were doubly excited when we found out that SLS not only opened up the lobby to all visitors but that Andrés has curated a special afternoon tea time in this space called, Tres by José Andrés.
The Times’s chief restaurant critic, S. Irene Virbila, is known to be hard to please, and she subjects each restaurant she reviews to a thorough vetting process--at Bazaar alone she clocked up four dinners! But it looks like she might have a little food crush on Andrés, who trained with the famous Ferran Adrià of El Bulli, exulting in his ability to transform “small plates into delicious theater.”
She goes on to gush that dining at the Bazaar is “Fellini-esque, a gastronomical circus, a flirtation with the flavors and soul of Spain.”
Sneak Peek / Inside SLS / Hotel Restaurants / Hotel Openings / Los Angeles Hotels / Jose Andres / Top Chef / Sam Nazarian / → All Tags
This is the second part of a three-part series on the SLS Hotel.
Much like the guest rooms inside the hotel, The Bazaar changes all your preconceived notions about a hotel restaurant. For starters, it's actually three restaurants. There's Bar Centro, Pâtisserie, and Rojo y Blanco. In addition, there is a Moss custom-curated retail area where guests can purchase eclectic pieces which are all on display in free-standing glass vitrines.
Walking through the Bazaar is no easy feat. Not because you can't make your way past stuff but because you can't make your way past all the stuff without stopping to stare and look at it. Like the dark-humored mobile that hangs from the ceiling of a hideaway nook and features plastic guns. Or the wall of shelves with dozen of photographs of the back of people's heads. And like the rest of the hotel, the furniture is Starck-inspired (remember this man loves chairs) and almost every piece, whether it's a lamp, chair, ottoman or vase, is different from the next.
In short, Bazaar is quite bizarre.
SLS Hotels / SBE Group / Philippe Starck / Jose Andres / Hotel Restaurants / Hotel News / → All Tags
The former Le Meridien Beverly Hills hotel shuttered down a few months ago to make way for a new hotel chain from nightclub king Sam Nazarian and his SBE group, called SLS Hotels. (Alphabet soup much?)
We still aren't sure what to expect from this new hotel except Philippe Starck's soul and possibly some drunken goblet-holding monkeys. However, as with all new hotels a fancy schmancy hotel restaurant is a must.
Eater LA reports:
SBE tapped Jose Andres to run all the food and bev for their first LA hotel (the former Le Meredien), including a restaurant, lounge and catering. Andres worked with Ferran Adria in Spain, and his ThinkFoodGroup operates Jaleo, Oyamel, Zaytinya and Café Atlántico in Washington D.C. The hotel and restaurants will probably debut in June '08.
Meanwhile, we drove by the hotel building just yesterday and absolutely no new work has been done on the building. We're not saying that June 2008 isn't do-able but well, we've been burned by hotel hype lots of times before.
· Skinny Monkeys With Goblets = New Paradigm In Luxury [HotelChatter]
· SBE Future: Foxtail, Jose Andres, More Katsuyas [Eater LA]
· SLS Hotels [Official Site]